Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Spaghetti alla carbonara

 

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Mise en place

 

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Egg mixture

In my house, life is a combination of magic and pasta, as beautifully quoted by Federico Fellini.

I have many versions of pasta recipes in my repertoire, however this one is very special, because the origin is from beautiful Rome, one of my favorite cities in the world.  I am happy to share with you Spaghetti alla Carbonara.  Mirco di Trizio, an aspiring Roman chef, provided me with the main ingredients, the ratio and method of cooking. I put it all together and kitchen tested it. The result was this creamy pasta that screamed deliciousness in every bite.

Serves: 4   Degree of difficulty: Moderate

Ingredients: 

  • 1 lb. of Spaghetti
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 to 3/4 lb. of pancetta, chopped (guanciale is preferred but hard to find in the US.)
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 4 extra-large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, finely grated, Parmesan cheese (maybe more, if necessary)
  • 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated, made from sheep’s milk
  • 1/2 cup water room temperature, (for sauce)


    Preparation:

    1) In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, add freshly ground pepper  and both cheeses. Mix well and set aside.

    2) Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt to taste, and cook pasta according to package directions.

    3) In the meanwhile, heat olive oil, over medium flame, and brown pancetta until crispy, stirring occasionally, This will take 8 – 10 minutes depending on your pan and the degree of heat. Deglaze with the water, bring to a quick boil, then turn the heat to the lowest setting. Leave it on the burner.

    At this point, the pasta should be done, and it’s time to drain it. PUT IT BACK IN THE SAME POT.  Get the assistance of someone for the next step, if you can.  Bring the pot of pasta on your kitchen counter, (not on the hot stove) drop in the pancetta, mix it in.  Next, comes the tricky part,  get someone to slowly pour the egg mixture in the pasta while you gently stir it, AWAY from the heat. You should obtain a nice creamy texture. If you feel like it’s too watery, go ahead and add a little more cheese. Remove from the pot immediately to avoid the effect of scrambled eggs. (It would be edible, however, it  is not the presentation, we are looking for.) Place in a serving bowl and serve while it’s piping hot.

    The chef has complimented me on the dish but scolded me about the parsley as a garnish. Instead, he recommends using a melted Parmigiano, called Cialda di Parmigiano.  An easy way to achieve this, is to melt some cheese in the microwave. You can bypass this step all together but wanted to give you some option for garnish.

    cialda
    Cheese garnish, optional. Stock photo, not mine

    I hope you will try this recipe in your kitchen. It may seem complicated but it’s simple if you follow my directions step by step. Wishing all of you a beautiful holiday season!

Happy Cooking from Gina’s Kitchen.

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